Since nobody asked, I shall answer these frequently unasked questions.
Email would be the most reliable way to get to me. I am not the most social media savvy operator around, so I might not be able to keep up with the monitoring of the various social media platforms. Click on the Contact Us link above, but don’t stalk me.
Orders for Codename Colossus is temporarily suspended for now. I am currently working on new designs and exploring new manufacturing methods and materials to bring Codename Colossus to a wider audience. If you are interested, drop me an email and we can discuss the specifics. Click on the Contact Us link above to get in touch.
Orders for Codename Colossus is temporarily suspended. The flagship Codename: Colossus toys are made to order and fully 3D printed, which make up the major cost for me. It also takes a lot of my time to paint and assemble all the parts. This is not a commodity item and I need to ensure that it is priced fairly for both my time and risk.
This is probably the first real Frequently Asked Question. At this stage, Codename Colossus is not available in a model kit form with assembly instructions. There are a few reasons. Firstly, it is important for me to maintain the artistic integrity of the pieces. Also, the cost of the 3D printed parts and electronic components makes up such a disproportionate share of the final price of these designs that it would not offer buyers a significant price reduction.
However, these questions have brought a new dimension into possible future plans that I had not previously explored. Thanks for setting my mind thinking.
Codename: Colossus is made to order. After accepting your order, I will need to do the necessary designs, and wait for the 3D prints to arrive from the 3D printing service bureau, it will then take me quite a few days to paint and assemble everything. My very rough estimate is that it would take 2 months from commencement to completion, and after that there is shipping.
I will take a 50% deposit before commencing work, but not to worry, I will continually keep you, the commissioner, updated with photos and videos either privately via email, or with your permission, publicly over social media platforms and on this site. This is my commitment to your buying experience.
Batteries are not included for safety reasons. However, you can easily source required batteries for your Codename: Colossus. Input voltage can be from 7.2V to 12V. Included is a screw on plug that you can use to replace a variety of battery types and sources.
Recommended batteries are 7.4V 2C Lithium Polymer rechargeable batteries with a minimum of 2800mA-h. You can also use 6x AA sized (7.2V) rechargeable batteries with a recommended minimum of 2800mA-h. The Codename: Colossus uses a lot of juice, a smaller mA-h rated battery just means less play time. The battery compartment accommodates a variety of battery sizes and is accessible without tools.
The minimum 7.2V is required to power the logic circuits, while most of the components are running on 5V to 5.5V. DC-DC convertors are used to convert the voltage down to the required levels, while higher voltage batteries such as 9V or 12V can safely be used, they would generate more heat than the lower voltage ones in the 7.2V to 7.4V range.
Codename: Colossus is designed to work and last well beyond current technology trends. That is why I have not decided to integrate it with Android or iOS apps nor requires it to be plugged to a computer to function. All you need to do is to plug in a battery and turn it on. Who knows if any of us will still be using these mobile OS in 5 year’s time?
In the event of hardware failures, the microcontroller boards might need to be replaced and a software sketch uploaded via USB. But that is an extreme case. Advanced users might also want to reprogramme the behaviours of their Codename: Colossus if they know what they are doing.
We are a very small business and the hand-made and experimental nature of the product means that I am not able to offer a warranty in the traditional sense. However, I consider every owner of a Codename Colossus as a partner in making this product possible, and am fully committed to helping each and every owner resolve every problem that you might encounter. By sending out replacement parts in combination with current technology like video tutorials, and video calls, I can help you, or your technically inclined friends, resolve those problems despite being halfway across the planet. And this is something I can promise because not being a mass produced product, every customer is valued and I can devote time to each of them.
Easy is a relative term, however, what is not subjective is the fact that you can fully disassemble and reassemble your Codename: Colossus only with the common tools that most households have. A large hammer will do nicely for disassembly purposes.
The entire product is designed to be able to be taken down to its component parts with a small Philips head screwdriver. No torx, no special tools needed, with minimal prying and barely any glue. It uses a total of 3 sizes of screws. I pride myself for having designed it this way. Every single servo, motor, sensor and LED can be removed without soldering, I can send you replacements and you can plug the replacements straight back in. This includes the microcontroller boards as well, should they fail. These microcontrollers are popular international brands that are available world wide.
To disassemble the Codename: Colossus, you just need to remember to go from the top to the bottom and from the outside to the inside.
This is not an iPad Air and I will be surprised if iFixit does not give me a 10/10 for repairability.
Hand making toys to order does not sound like a sustainable business plan for a start up. True, but this is neither a start up in the traditional sense nor a business that is meant to explode in popularity, get bought over by Google and turn me into a multi-billionaire overnight. Of course, I would not say no to being a multi-billionaire.
Unlike many people who are looking for some way to make money without doing stuff, I am looking for something to do. To make and build stuff with my hands. So Machination Studio is as much a life decision as a business. I started this to acquire skills that I can use to make fun things for the rest if my life or at least until solar flare storms or alien EMP devices fry all our electronics.
Having said all that, there is an entrepreneural streak in me, and if Codename: Colossus gains traction, I will certainly explore creating more accessibly priced versions of the toys for a wider audience. This is not mutually exclusive to what I am doing now. These more accessibly priced versions would not be anyway close to the same size and will likely not be fully 3D printed and definitely not be hand assembled by me, unless there are major breakthroughs in technology which we have gained by defeating above-mentioned aliens.
The story of Codename: Colossus will also be made into a 1000 episode anime series and a trilogy of 2 hour long cell shaded animated feature films. And once I sell billions of products world wide, I will flip a switch and all my Codename: Colossus will come alive and kill everyone who does not own a Machination Studio product. Muhahahaha.
Sure. I would love a rap song written about Codename: Colossus, and for one to be sent to Mars free of charge.
In all seriousness, I absolutely am open to collaboration. In my journey to create Codename: Colossus, I have found very few people around me whose projects interest and inspire me. I would love to meet people who are doing cool things and what is cooler than doing interesting things together. I struggle with the programming part of the project, and you can drive a car through the gaps in my knowledge about electronics. Get in touch and show me what cool stuff you are up to.